Netanyahu makes concessions to Palestinians before Trump arrives

Netanyahu’s package of goodwill gestures ahead of Trump’s visit to Israel includes retroactive approval of illegal Palestinian construction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to cede territory under Israeli control in Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians as part of a package of goodwill gestures to the Palestinians ahead of US President Donald Trump’s arrival in Israel Monday.

Netanyahu’s cabinet on Sunday approved confidence-building measures ahead of Trump’s visit, including Palestinian construction in Area C, which is under full Israeli control as prescribed by the Oslo Peace Accords. The gestures also include the retroactive approval of massive illegal Palestinian building in the area.

The majority of ministers voted in favor of Netanyahu’s proposed measures; Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked opposed the move.

This is the first time Netanyahu has made such a gesture since 2009.

The package also includes economic concessions and the opening the Allenby border crossing from Israel to Jordan 24 hours a day, in order to ease the passage for Palestinians.

The gestures were reportedly made following a request by Trump.

No Palestinian Concessions

The Palestinian leadership has yet to introduce any confidence-building measures and even refused Trump’s demand to cease paying salaries to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and their families, saying the request was “crazy.”

Read  Hamas: Wage ‘periodic wars’ in Judea and Samaria

Trump’s visit to Israel, where he will meet with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and, the next day, with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, begins the second leg of his maiden overseas trip. The US leader will be testing the waters for jumpstarting the dormant diplomatic process.

Trump’s trip will also take him to the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News